Vitamin D status and functional performance in peripheral artery disease

Mary M. McDermott, Kiang Liu, Luigi Ferrucci, Lu Tian, Jack Guralnik, Peter Kopp, Huimin Tao, Linda Van Horn, Yihua Liao, David Green, Melina Kibbe, Michael H. Criqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The clinical implications of low vitamin D in peripheral artery disease (PAD) are unknown. We hypothesized that among individuals with PAD, lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D would be associated with poorer functional performance, more adverse calf muscle characteristics, and poorer peripheral nerve function. Participants were 402 men and women with PAD who underwent measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (DiaSorin radioimmunoassay) along with 6-minute walk testing, measurement of walking velocity at usual and fastest pace, computed tomography-measured calf muscle density, and peripheral nerve conduction velocity (NCV). Among PAD participants, 20.4% had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <30 nmol/L, consistent with deficient vitamin D status. Adjusting for age, sex, and race, lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were associated with poorer 6-minute walk performance (p trend = 0.002), slower usual-paced 4-meter walking velocity (p trend = 0.031), slower fast-paced 4-meter walking velocity (p trend = 0.043), and lower calf muscle density (p trend = 0.031). After additional adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and diabetes, none of these associations remained statistically significant. However, lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were associated with poorer peroneal NCV (p trend = 0.013) and poorer sural NCV (p trend = 0.039), even after adjusting for age, sex, race, BMI, comorbidities, smoking, physical activity, and other confounders. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is common among people with PAD encountered in clinical settings. After adjusting for BMI and diabetes mellitus, we found no significant associations of lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D with poorer functional performance or calf muscle characteristics. Associations of low vitamin D levels with poorer peripheral nerve function require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-302
Number of pages9
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • intermittent claudication
  • peripheral artery
  • physical functioning
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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